Research from Ezra, a provider of digital coaching, has revealed that more than half of UK office workers have now returned to the workplace on either a full or part-time basis, with many seeing some surprising benefits as a result.
The research commissioned by Ezra found that 30 per cent of office workers have now returned full-time, up from just 17 per cent in April. A further 24 per cent have returned on a part-time basis, again up from 17 per cent in April, with the number of us working fully remotely falling by -21 per cent in the last three months.
Ezra also asked what positive impact a return to the workplace has had on their lives and, perhaps surprisingly, the most prominent was the work-life balance (29%).
A positive impact of productivity also ranked high (23%), with many also benefitting from a reduction in personal fatigue (13%) and an increase in career progression opportunities (13%).
Perhaps predictably, COVID anxiety and career-related stress saw the least positive influence.
With many big-name companies now encouraging a return to the workplace, Deloitte recently announced that those wishing to maintain an aspect of remote working may not be able to expect a full salary while doing so.
This sort of stance may encourage more to return to the workplace, although Ezra’s research shows that 26 per cent of office workers would be willing to take a reduced level of income to maintain a flexible working lifestyle.
So much so that the same number also stated they would seek alternative employment should their employer fail to offer an ongoing level of flexible working.
Nick Goldberg, Founder of Ezra said, “it seems as though the shine is starting to fade on the working from home culture with more and more of us choosing to return to the office, perhaps with a little encouragement from our employers in some cases.
“However, doing so seems to have improved productivity, fatigue and the work-life balance for many. This may sound strange, but it makes sense given that working from home has caused many to blur the lines between their personal and professional lives, working longer hours in the process while achieving less.
“The process of going to a place of work allows us to define clear boundaries and allows us to switch on and off more effectively when it matters. As much as we need to perform professionally, the ability to rest and recuperate at the end of the day is also incredibly important and this is something we’ve lost since our homes have become our offices.”
Survey of 2,058 UK office workers carried out by Ezra via consumer research platform Find Out Now (6th April 2021 and 25th June 2021).